The Market Place
Our second night in Asheville, we had something to celebrate! My colleague and I had just finished presenting some data from a study we had conducted and were feeling enthusiastic about the reactions we had gotten! I looked to a friend for advice on where one might go to do such a thing, and was directed towards The Market Place. We were not disappointed.
The Market Place opened in Asheville in 1979, which makes them about 36 years old! Young, if you ask me. Their focus has been on using local ingredients and supporting the community through their restaurant. They display local art, have local musicians playing and serve food grown and made locally. This is the heartbeat of the Asheville community. On top of having an amazing menu, they have a great wine list, very creative cocktails and are able to create amazing concoctions for the “with child” in any group. When I asked for help in selecting a glass of wine, the server brought me a few to sample to make an informed decision. Both were beautiful glasses of red.
For our first course, we ordered the cheese plate ($15). It came with crackers, house made jam, homemade pimento cheese, fresh fruit, nuts and a few cheeses. While I wished there were more cheeses, the selections they brought were incredible. The pimento cheese was a little spicy and very creamy! The menu says it was served with crostini – I don’t remember any, but that doesn’t say much.
Course number two, we decided to split a salad. We ordered the mix greens salad. It was a mixture of greens wrapped inside a cucumber slice, with crispy red onions, cherry tomatoes and a white wine herb vinaigrette ($8) I loved the presentation and the crispy onions. The dressing was light and flavorful. And what a huge portion (that is only half – they split it for us).
This may not look like much, but it was one of the most incredible dishes I’ve ever eaten. This is the hand cut pappardelle pasta with braised lamb, roasted oyster mushrooms, confit tomatoes, basil pesto and parmesan ($23). The pasta was cut a little thicker than I cut my pappardelle which gave it great texture and helped to sop up the sauce. The texture of the lamb was delicate and just fatty enough to have great depth. I strive to recreate this dish. It may take some time, but I feel determined. This will be mine.
Our final course was the saffron and wildflower honey creme brûlée. It was served with a homemade biscotti. The biscotti was crispy and delicate. It paired perfectly with the creme brûlée, which without it was a little on the sweet side.
If there is one thing I regret about my trip to The Market Place, it’s that I didn’t take the time to meet, and propose to, the chef! He’s an amazing chef, and from the picture I see that he’s quite a cutie too. Thanks for the amazing meal! If I’m ever in the area, I will certainly return to The Market Place.